To give Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy the challenge he craves, he’ll face THREE superstars at the Royal Rumble! Who earns the first two spots tonight?
- Lio Rush VS Kalisto w/ Lucha House Party; Kalisto wins and advances to the Royal Rumble Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4 Way.
- Drew Gulak VS Akira Tozawa; Tozawa wins and advances to the Royal Rumble Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4 Way.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE mourns the loss of “Mean” Gene Okerlund.
Drake Maverick welcomes us to the first 205 Live of 2019!
The GM of the Cruiserweight Division has an important announcement later tonight on what’s in store for WWE’s fastest brand in the New Year. But first, we have some high stakes matches on the card! Buddy Murphy wants to prove he’s THE best Cruiserweight in the world, and will take on not one but three challengers at the Royal Rumble. Tonight, two matches will determine two of the three. The Lucha Dragon, Kalisto, will take on the Man of the Hour, Lio Rush. This match will personify speed as Kalisto looks to become a two-time Cruiserweight Champion while Lio could earn his first shot at the title.
Then the main event features one of 205 Live’s fiercest rivalries as The Stamina Monster, Akira Tozawa, takes on the Philly Fury, Drew Gulak. Tozawa and THE Brian Kendrick got even with Gulak and Jack Gallagher weeks ago in their Street Fight Tag match, but the war doesn’t end there. Will Gulak make Tozawa tap and win a ticket to the Royal Rumble? Or will Tozawa himself earn a chance at becoming a two-time champ?
Lio Rush VS Kalisto w/ Lucha House Party!
Between the New Year and WWE’s “fresh start”, the 24 Year Old Piece of Gold wants to renew his aspirations for championship gold. Meanwhile, the Lucha House Party would love some gold of their own to make the fiesta even more festive. Who will be the first of three contenders challenging the Juggernaut at the Royal Rumble?
The bell rings and Kalisto circles with Lio. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” and “Lio Sucks!” and Kalisto makes sure Lio hears it. Then things speed up, but Kalisto doesn’t let Lio take the lead. “Lucha! Lucha!” starts up again and Kalisto blocks a kick. Kalisto flips Lio but Lio speeds things up as he rebounds and runs around. Kalisto matches with a handspring and Lio backs off. The matracas rattle and the fans chant “Lucha!” while The Body Guys, Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese, watch backstage and enjoy some protein shakes. Kalisto keeps his eyes on Lio but Lio takes his time returning. Lio then rushes in but Kalisto’s ready for him. Lio SLAPS Kalisto, but that only angers the Lucha Dragon! The chase is on!
Lio goes up and around a post then back in the ring. Kalisto handsprings off the steel steps to then get in, roll Lio and hit him with a Listo Kick! Kalisto keeps kicking but Lio knees back. Lio whips but Kalisto dropkicks Lio! Kalisto kicks Lio more, then runs, but Lio dodges. Kalisto tumbles to the apron, but Lio dropkicks him off! Lio then builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit onto Kalisto! Lio grimaces as he drags Kalisto up and into the ring. Lio stomps Kalisto to the corner, then throws haymakers. He stomps a mudhole but fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” Kalisto CHOPS back! Lio kicks Kalisto then suplexes him down. Lio drags Kalisto up and elbows him in the back. Cover, ONE! Lio keeps his cool as he grabs Kalisto in a camel clutch. Kalisto endures as Lio pulls back, a knee into the back.
Fans rally and Kalisto feeds off the energy. Kalisto fights up and out, then victory rolls! TWO, and Lio clobbers Kalisto with a clothesline! Lio rains down lefts then covers, TWO! Lio puts the camel clutch back on, then grinds Kalisto’s face into the mat. He goes after the face and mask, but the ref reprimands him. Fans rally up but Lio clubs Kalisto. Lio throws Kalisto out, and both Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik check on him while Lio lounges on the top rope. The ring count climbs but Kalisto gets back in at 4. Lio lines up a shot and kicks Kalisto in the head. Lio throws body shots in the corner, then a chop. Kalisto hits back with CHOPS, then runs but into a back elbow! Metalik and Lince coach Kalisto as Lio covers, TWO! The “Lucha! Lucha!” starts again while Lio puts Kalisto in a keylock.
Kalisto endures and the matracas sound. Lio shifts to make it a half straitjacket but Kalisto endures. Kalisto gets up and fights his way out. Kalisto fires off but Lio hits back. They brawl, Lio lets off a strike fest! Lio runs in but is put on the apron. Kalisto swing kicks Lio down! Kalisto aims and knee-boards for a senton! Both men are down but fans fire up. Kalisto gets up first and brings Lio into the ring. Kalisto and Lio stand, Lio heel kicks Kalisto! Lio buzzsaw kicks Kalisto down, but he doesn’t cover. He heads for the corner and climbs up top. Kalisto springs to life to kick Lio back! Kalisto climbs to join Lio now, and the two fight up top. Lio headbutts Kalisto but Kalisto holds on. Lio punches Kalisto down but Kalisto kicks Lio again!
Kalisto climbs back up, picks Lio up, and hits a SUPER back flip power slam! Cover, TWO!! Lio lives and Kalisto can’t believe it! Fans rally and Kalisto stirs. Kalisto stands and fires up with more “Lucha! Lucha!” Lio stands and turns around, but denies Salida to go for the underhook. Lio spins Kalisto for the overdrive unprettier! Cover, TWO!! Kalisto survives and shocks Lio! Lio is furious, and he drags Kalisto up to punch him down. He does it again, then tries again. Kalisto counters and jawbreakers! Kalisto springboards, corkscrew crossbody! He kicks away on Lio, mule kick and runs. Lio runs to pump kick! Lio runs into a heel kick! Kalisto walks into a fireman’s carry, and hotshot!
Kalisto goes down and Lio recovers in the ring. The ref counts and the Lucha House Party coach Kalisto up. The count passes 7 as Kalisto stands. Kalisto gets up and gets in at 9.5! Lio is furious now, and goes to a corner. Lio climbs with Kalisto in a drop zone. But the matracas rattle and Lio gets annoyed. Lio tells them to stop, then aims at Kalisto. Lince still shakes the matraca but then Lio kicks it away! Lince gets mad and Metalik keeps hims back. Lio then hits both of them with a dropkick! Lince is ready to fight but he can’t because it’ll disqualify Kalisto. Lio uses that to his advantage, but walks into Salida del Sol!! Cover, Kalisto wins!!
Winner: Kalisto, by pinfall; advances to the Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4 Way
Don’t blame Dorado for this one, Lio let himself lose focus, and that lost him the match. Now that Kalisto is headed for a title shot, will he be the one to stop the unstoppable? And who else will join him and Buddy Murphy in that championship match?
Backstage interview with Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher.
Does Gulak see himself as the underdog in tonight’s match after Akira Tozawa and THE Brian Kendrick defeated him and Gallagher in that Tag Team Street Fight? There are many words Gulak would use to describe himself, such as “leader” and “submission specialist”, but also “realist”. That match only proved that Tozawa and Kendrick are “low rent brawlers” and got lucky. Is Gulak an underdog? No. Because tonight is not a Street Fight, it is a wrestling match, and rules will be enforced. That puts Tozawa at the disadvantage. When Tozawa steps to Gulak, he will tap out.
Meanwhile, Kendrick helps Tozawa get in some last minute training. Tozawa fires off punch after punch into the pads with Gulak’s face on them, then throws them down on the ground. Both men are determined to settle the score while scoring themselves a spot in the championship match. Their main event is up next!
Drake Maverick speaks.
“Here on 205 Live, a new year means new opportunities.” 2018 saw a remarkable transformation, and with Maverick as GM, there won’t be any resting on our laurels. Maverick did some planning over the holidays, talked with the GMs of other brands, and even scoured all four corners of the globe for any and all great Cruiserweight talent to raise the standard of competition. The WWE Universe can expect new faces to join the roster, and the roster can expect fiercer competition. Maverick wants everyone to step up and rise to the occasion. 205 Live will remain the premier place for the world’s Cruiserweight Division! When and where will we see these new faces make their debuts?
Drew Gulak VS Akira Tozawa!
The Tag Team Street Fight was intense and innovative as The Stamina Monster and the newly shaven Man with a Plan overcame the Submission Commission. However, Gulak spins it that a no disqualification match means nothing to a technical specialist like himself. Will Gulak make up for that hardcore defeat with a sound and traditional victory? Or will Tozawa ring in his new year with a golden opportunity?
The Body Guys watch this match backstage, too, and Nese is still shaking up his drink. The bell rings and fans “AH! AH!” along with Tozawa. Gulak grimaces as he still hates chants and general crowd noise. The two circle and tie up. Gulak gets a headlock and takeover, but Tozawa gets the headscissor. Gulak headscissors back and then hammers Tozawa in the chest. Tozawa moves around and gets free, and the two stand off. Gulak swaggers about and fans boo. Tozawa and Gulak tie up, and Gulak gets the headlock again. Gulak brings Tozawa to the mat, but Tozawa gets up and reverses to a hammerlock and headlock. Gulak drops down to roll Tozawa up but Tozawa denies a cover. Tozawa holds on as they stand up again.
Gulak reverses out to a wristlock, then hooks Tozawa’s face to get the headlock back. Tozawa powers out but Gulak runs him over. Things speed up and Gulak rolls to catch Tozawa in a roll up! TWO, and Gulak narrowly avoids the Penalty Kick. The two stand off again, then tie up. Gulak grabs an ear and puts Tozawa in a corner. Gulak lets go at 4, then grinds his fingers into Tozawa’s face. He backs off at 4 again, and Tozawa fires back elbows. Tozawa scoops but Gulak blocks. Tozawa fakes the chop to hit the jab! Then he hits the scoop slam! And the shouting senton! Cover, TWO! Gulak rolls away and Tozawa takes aim. Gulak goes running, so Tozawa pursues. Tozawa runs into a boot, but blocks the snap suplex.
Tozawa hits back and Gulak gets into the ring. But Tozawa grabs the feet, only for Gulak to shove him into barriers! Gulak drags Tozawa up to scoop and slam him back. Gulak grins as he stands over Tozawa. He drags Tozawa up and into the ring, then covers. TWO, but Gulak smirks as he stomps Tozawa’s back. Gulak springboard stomps, then sits Tozawa up for a half surfboard on the arms. Tozawa endures as Gulak pulls back. Fans “AH! AH!” and Tozawa feeds off that energy to get the ropebreak. Gulak lets go at 4, but drops more springboard stomps. Gulak pulls Tozawa up by his nose, then scoop slams Tozawa fast. Cover, TWO, but Gulak is back on with a chinlock. Tozawa endures and fans rally up again.
Tozawa fights against the hold, but Gulak knees low. Gulak runs, but into Tozawa’s back kick. Tozawa swings, slides under, and swings another kick, but into Gulak’s powerbomb lift. Gulak aims for ropes, but Tozawa huricanrans Gulak out! Tozawa builds speed, Gulak gets back in but gets another huricanrana, for the rolling roundhouse! Cover, TWO! Tozawa keeps going and the fans “AH! AH!” again. Tozawa throws forearms and kicks, then stomps Gulak down. He pushes Gulak into the drop zone and climbs up top. Gulak sees that and gets to the apron. Tozawa kicks Gulak down but Gulak forearms him back. Gulak shoulders in but gets a kick. Tozawa climbs again, guillotine senton! But it’s double edged as Tozawa’s back takes damage from the impact!
A ten count begins and Tozawa slowly stands up. Gulak follows and they’re up at 6. Tozawa fires palm strikes and kicks, then runs in. Gulak dodges the shining wizard for a one handed bomb into the corner! Gulak roars now, and goes for the GuLOCK! Tozawa resists, and uses the corner for leverage. Cover, TWO! Gulak blocks the wizard to hit a discus lariat! Cover, TWO! Gulak grows frustrated while Tozawa gets to a corner. Gulak runs into a boot, and Tozawa hops up. Tozawa leaps to sunset flip but Gulak rolls through to powerbomb! High stack, TWO!! Gulak is shocked as well as frustrated as Tozawa survives. Gulak grits his teeth as he glares down at Tozawa. Tozawa fires himself up but Gulak stomps him. Gulak throws hands but Tozawa eggs him on.
They brawl now with back and forth haymakers and forearms. Tozawa gets an edge, runs, and rocks Gulak with a right. Tozawa runs again for another but Gulak still wobbles. The third time, Gulak boots Tozawa, only to run into Tozawa’s boot. Tozawa tries again, tilt-o-whirl into the Octopus Stretch! But Gulak pops out into a horse collar, aka the stretch muffler! Gulak spins Tozawa around, then make sit a cover! ONE, but the hold stays on. Tozawa crawls and reaches as Gulak pulls and stretches. Tozawa endures and gets the ropebreak! Gulak lets go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Fans rally up and Tozawa feeds off the energy. Tozawa and Gulak slowly stand. Gulak goes after Tozawa first with big forearms. Tozawa pushes Gulak into buckles! Tozawa ducks Gulak for the saido suplex! But Tozawa doesn’t cover, he goes up top!
Tozawa aims, but that bad leg slows him down. He leaps, but into the GuLOCK!! Gulak has the body scissors and the dragon sleeper, and Tozawa can only flail and kick! Tozawa moves around then rolls over to the ropes! Gulak lets go but only as both men fall out to the floor. Tozawa gasps for air while a ring count begins. Gulak stands first, and refreshes the count. Gulak CHOPS Tozawa, then throws him at a post! Tozawa blocks and fires off haymakers! Gulak body shots and puts Tozawa in the ring. Tozawa boots Gulak down, then builds speed to DIVE! The Tozawa Torpedo hits its target! Fans fire up with Tozawa as he puts Gulak back in. Tozawa climbs up top once more, but Gulak trips him up! Tozawa’s bad leg is part of the bad landing, and now Gulak gets an idea.
Gulak SLAPS Tozawa, then climbs! Gulak is bending his own personal rules for the sake of victory. Tozawa resists the superplex but shoves Gulak down. Gulak lands on his feet, and tries from the very top! Tozawa still resists, and Gulak gets nervous knees! Tozawa headbutts Gulak all the way down, and has his target. He stands, and leaps for the Tokyo Tower Senton!! Cover, Tozawa wins!!
Winner: Akira Tozawa by pinfall; advances to the Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4 Way
Gulak gambled and lost! Tozawa outlasts Gulak’s ground game and wins with his aerial assault. THE Brian Kendrick celebrates with his new friend, ready to support the Stamina Monster in that title match. Will Tozawa’s stamina be the key to dethroning Buddy Murphy?
Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy aren’t worried.
The Premier Athlete even feels it just got that much easier for the champion. However, there’s one more match-up to determine the final contender. And speaking of…
Cedric Alexander speaks.
“Hideo Itami needs to understand that I don’t scare easy.” Itami walks around all intimidating, but it doesn’t work. Alexander doesn’t’ care about Itami’s past, because in their future, their rematch will end the same way as the first: Itami on the mat with a bad back, and Alexander having his hand raised.
Ariya Daivari and Hideo Itami respond.
“Cedric, your resilience in the face of adversity is absolutely admirable.” Even after his only friend, Mustafa Ali, left him for the bright lights of SmackDown, Alexander can still pick himself up after every setback. But Daivari assures that Alexander isn’t facing the same Itami from last year. This Itami is a tornado headed for the Royal Rumble. Itami tells Alexander in Japanese and Daivari translates in English, that Alexander may want his title back, but all he’s getting is a “lesson in respect.” Who wins this high stakes rematch to join Kalisto, Tozawa and Murphy at the Royal Rumble?
A pretty great episode right here, and perfect for 205 Live’s first 2019 episode. We get right down to it with two great and lengthy matches, but I do appreciate Maverick’s State of the Cruiserweight Division Address. Maverick uses kayfabe terms to essentially assure us that 205 Live will go on for as long as it can while acting as a Cruiserweight NXT. That is to say, any Cruiserweight class wrestler not quite ready for the main roster will join the purple brand and get some great play. Mustafa Ali could be seen as the prototypical Cruiserweight Call-Up. Ali has had great matches on 205 Live, he’s a complete character and very popular, and even has a great push on SmackDown with pinning Bryan and being in the #1 Contender’s Fatal 5. I can’t wait to see who else joins to then potentially go main roster.
The matches tonight also served to prove a point that 205 Live is where great matches will happen. I think each match got roughly 20 minutes and told great stories. I’m surprised Lio didn’t win, but I suppose him being annoyed and distracted by the matracas was plausible. Tozawa and Gulak had a great match that told the story of their past rivalry over Gulak’s distaste for chanting and high-flying moves. Gulak even made a similar mistake as their past feud when he risks going up top and it blows up in his face. Tozawa wins, but that makes two Faces and one Heel in the match. I was hoping Lio would win because then that’s two Heels and one Face. Cedric being Face and Itami being Heel, the math could dictate that Daivari helps Itami win and we have two and two.
Or WWE could get away from strict Face-Heel dynamics and allow for three Faces and one Heel. It would work really well if Cedric gets his shot, but then can’t get it done because this is a Fatal 4 Way and one of the others capitalizes. As I said for Raw and SmackDown this week, the “fresh start” isn’t really happening until things are completely shuffled. Alexander can detour to face Itami and Daivari, Murphy will lose and not have an automatic rematch, so that way either a two-time champion Kalisto or two-time champion Tozawa gets to use the belt in a program with any number of Heels. Murphy and Alexander could even go from the title to either being another Cruiserweight Call-Up like Ali, or helping get these new Cruiserweight stars up to speed.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (1/16/19)
NXT continues on the Road to Phoenix! The Limitless One looks to give the Knockout Artist payback on behalf of the King of Bros! Will Ohno #BaskInHisGlory?
- Street Profits VS The Metro Brothers; Street Profits win.
- Dominik Dijakovic VS Adrian Jauode; Dijakovic wins.
- Johnny Gargano VS Humberto Carrillo; Gargano wins.
- Keith Lee VS Kassius Ohno; Ohno wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Street Profits VS The Metro Brothers!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford want to put the #CurseofGreatness on the NXT Tag Team Division, and that requires winning the NXT Tag Team Championships. But before they can do that, that means racking up win after win. Will the Profits make their prophecy come true sooner rather than later in 2019?
The teams sort out, and it will be Ford starting against Chris Metro. Ford wants Christ to know that he does remember him. Chris shoves Ford, so Ford shoves him back! “Don’t sleep on me, boy!” Chris forearms back and whips but Ford reverses. Things speed up as Ford hurdles then dropkicks Chris! Ford kips up and shimmies at JC before whipping Chris. Tag to Dawkins and Dawkins runs Chris over. Dawkins helps Ford with the back suplex splash! The Profits fire each other up but they get a bit too rough as Dawkins shoves Ford over. JC tags in and slaps Dawkins, Dawkins ROCKS JC with a right! Dawkins sees Chris coming and Chris backs off a moment. Chris runs in, but into another of those killer rights! Ford laughs then tags in, to hit JC with the high-flying frog splash! Cover, and The Profits win!
Winners: The Street Profits, Montez Ford pinning
Their first match back and it was impactful! Dawkins and Ford celebrate with the Full Sail crowd, but will they be celebrating with titles soon enough? But then the Forgotten Sons attack to ruin the fun! Dawkins and Ford put up a good fight against Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake, but Jaxon Ryker changes that! Ryker wipes Dawkins out then catches Ford to ram him into the apron! Blake grabs Ford but Ford throws hands. Ford gets 3v1 and hit with a sit-out spinebuster! Fans taunt the Forgotten Sons that “We Forgot You!” but will the Profits remember them now? The Forgotten Sons make sure they do, as they stomp Ford and Dawkins out! And then the flying stomp inverted DDT combo! Will Ryker, Blake and Cutler continue to #DoUntoOthers on their own path towards the titles?
Backstage interview with Matt Riddle and Keith Lee.
The King of Bros won a match but lost a fight with Kassius Ohno, and now the Limitless One competes in his place. Riddle would love to sit ringside and watch Keith show Ohno what it is to be limitless. But Riddle also hopes Lee leaves something of Ohno left so he can get his turn, “bro”. Will Ohno be saying “Oh no!” against Lee later tonight? Or will the Knockout Artist expose the Limitless One’s limit?
Aleister Black speaks.
“Do you feel that, Tommaso Ciampa?” Of course he does. The days of TakeOver: Phoenix are coming, and everyone feels it. For Ciampa think that he was safe was foolish. Aleister will absolve Ciampa of his sins and take the title back. But everyone will be back at Full Sail, so let’s start this fight early? What will the Embodiment of the End do when he finds the Psycho Killer in the arena?
Bianca Belair heads to the ring!
The EST is the new #1 contender to Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship and the two face off for the first time in Phoenix. But right now, the Un-De-Fea-Ted woman says that “chaos” tried to stop her rise. Bianca sent Nikki Cross packing, because this is her time to finish the climb. 2019 will be the Year of EST, and she has 20-20 vision when it comes to the title. Shayna, Bianca sees you. She has the title and her horsewomen galloping up behind her, but the EST of NXT will still be Un-De– But speaking of the Queen of Spades and her cohorts, here they come! Shayna, Jessamyn and Marina all walk down the ramp, their eyes locked on Bianca in the ring. Shayna leads the way into the ring, mic in hand, and sees the EST for herself.
“I gotta be honest with you, I just don’t see it.” Shayna knows Bianca has a lot of records, from fastest to strongest, but obviously not the smartest. If Bianca had even half a brain, she’d know that it doesn’t matter how big and strong those arms are, Shayna will still tear them off in Phoenix. Bianca tells Shayna, “Uh-uh.” The only thing Bianca’s arm will do is hold the title up after it’s all over. The fans are on Bianca’s side but Shayna says Bianca’s the same as all the others she faced. They can’t put their money where their mouth is and actually fight Shayna. Bianca is afraid of having a broken arm, afraid that the hype will be silenced, and afraid that instead of Un-De-Fea-Ted, she’ll become O-Ver-Rate-Ed. Fans duel while Bianca and Shayna stare down.
Shayna smirks as she asks about Bianca being worried about Marina and Jessamyn. She tells Bianca they’re the least of her worries. Bianca SLAPS Shayna! Then she dodges Jessamyn’s kick and Marina’s lunge! Bianca blows kisses good-bye, and tells her the fight’s coming. Will Bianca blow a Kiss of Death to the reign of #ShaynaTwoTime? Or will Shayna rock Bianca right in the kisser?
Dominik Dijakovic VS Adrian Jauode!
#FeastYourEyes on the five-tool tower, but as well as the Brazilian bulldog! Both men have mixed martial arts training in various styles, but whose combined style will win their first match of 2019?
The bell rings and Jauode uses his capoeria stance to throw Dijakovic off a bit. Dijakovic avoids one takedown then another, and the two circle again. They tie up and Jauode puts Dijakovic in a corner. The ref counts and Jauode picks Dijakovic for a body slam! Dijakovic holds Jauode off from a cover, and gets a facelock to counter. They stand up and Jauode gets another takedown! Jauode drags Dijakovic back up with the facelock. He gets a fireman’s carry takeover, but Dijakovic denies the cover. Dijakovic gets a waistlock, but Jauode turns and powers him to a corner again. The ref calls for the ropebreak, but Dijakovic clubs Jauode off. Dijakovic runs out to mule kick, front kick and back elbow! Jauode falls back and crawls to a corner.
Dijakovic runs corner to corner to splash, then elbow and club Jauode more. Dijakovic says “Time to fly!” and throws Jauode with a suplex! Fans applaud the power game as Dijakovic stalks Jauode. Jauode throws hands and backs Dijakovic down! Dijakovic punches and chops back, then throws forearms before one big clothesline! Or as he calls it, the Blood Line. Dijakovic stomps Jauode into the corner, then against the ropes. Dijakovic keeps stomping but Jauode gets a kneebar! Jauode drags Dijakovic down but Dijakovic gets the ropebreak. Jauode backs off, to then capoeria roundhouse back! Dijakovic staggers, but comes back with a discus boot! Dijakovic says “Feast Your Eyes!” before dragging Jaoude back up. He torture racks Jauode, to hit THE Feast Your Eyes! Cover, Dijakovic wins!
Winner: Dominik Dijakovic, by pinfall
Dijakovic said so, and Jauode did so! Will Dijakovic soon feast his eyes on a title opportunity?
The War Raiders prepare for Phoenix.
These modern day vikings tell the Undisputed Era that this gathering is to celebrate the victories, the scars, and the respect for them. But in Phoenix, “empires crumble, dynasties fall.” Ray Rowe & Hanson celebrate their coming victories. The Undisputed Era’s tactics were bold, and their strategies fierce. But at TakeOver: Phoenix, the era ends! And that is undisputed. Hanson & Rowe have lit the fire, will the Undisputed Era burn?
Johnny Gargano VS Humberto Carrillo!
Johnny Wrestling, or perhaps Johnny Venom, wants to be Johnny Champion as he challenges The One and Only for the NXT North American Championship in Phoenix! But that’s still over a week away, he wants to build momentum on the way there. Will he get that from Humberto Carrillo? Or will Humberto be more than Gargano expected?
Humberto got to show his skills on the first 205 Live back on Tuesdays against Cruiserweight Champion, Buddy Murphy. Unfortunately for Humberto, he lost to the Juggernaut, but he still had a great showing. Can Humberto have another great showing now that he’s back at Full Sail?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up and Gargano puts Humberto in the corner. He backs off quick, playing the good guy again. Gargano and Humberto circle, and Gargano rolls to a takedown. Gargano gets a toehold but Humberto spins and rolls to escape. Humberto wristlocks but Gargano spins and reverses. Gargano praises himself but fans go along with it. Humberto rolls and handsprings and reverses the wristlock back! Gargano rolls and throws a forearm! Gargano backs Humberto to a corner then whips him corner to corner. Humberto goes up and over and adds an extra flip!
Things speed up and Humberto leaps for a sunset flip. Gargano kicks but misses, Humberto kicks, misses, but comes back with an enziguri! Humberto whips Gargano but Gargano reverses. Things speed up again and Humberto hits a high-flying arm-drag! Gargano bails out but Humberto slides out. Gargano dodges and tosses Humberto, but Humberto lands on the apron to mule kick Gargano! Humberto runs but Gargano slingshot spears! Fans still fire up for that move as Gargano walks it off. Gargano stalks Humberto as fans duel. Gargano snapmares Humberto and dropkicks him in the head! Cover, TWO!
Gargano keeps on Humberto with a wrench, then a standing abdominal stretch! Humberto endures and fans rally up. Humberto fights free and throws haymakers! He scoops Gargano but Gargano slips out to shove Humberto. Gargano runs into a boot, then into buckles. Humberto fires off and whips, but Gargano reverses. Humberto handsprings to back elbow! Gargano rolls out, Humberto builds speed, and Humberto FLIES! Direct hit takes them tot he ramp! Humberto puts Gargano back in and climbs up top to leap for a BIG missile dropkick! Humberto rolls back to moonsault! Cover, TWO!! Gargano survives and Humberto is shocked!
Humberto keeps his cool but Gargano anchors a foot. Humberto stomps Gargano away then climbs up, moonsault gets boots! Gargano stands and SUPERKICKS Humberto! Humberto stays standing, and Gargano scoops him for a long dart into buckles! But Gargano isn’t done with Humberto yet, as he slingshots for the DDT! Cover, Gargano wins!
Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall
Whether he’s Johnny Wrestling, Johnny Badass or Johnny Venom, Johnny is the winner of this match! Johnny heads for Phoenix and his title match with Ricochet, will we soon be calling him the new North American Champion?
Tommaso Ciampa speaks.
“Aleister Black, you like to refer tot he champ as ‘The Puppet Master.’ Boy, if I am the puppet master, than you are the ultimate puppet.” Aleister is so gullible to be running around that we won’t have to wait until Phoenix. Aleister doesn’t understand. “The Champ fights on the biggest, grandest stage.” So they will wait until Phoenix, that’s what main event players do. Not that Aleister would ever understand. Ciampa tells his “number one puppet” to listen closely to him. “Be careful what you wish for.” Is Ciampa denying or accepting the challenge? Will we find out next week?
Velveteen Dream speaks.
“23 years old and all this talent. How do you do it, Dream?” Is it easy? Is it natural? There is no secret formula, it is simply The Experience. This is the same Velveteen Dream who said in 2017 that the world won’t forget him. And then in 2018, he made that prophecy a reality. Just ask the legends and icons that took notice. Now in 2019, #DreamOver will evolve into #DreamOn. Dream’s back in action next week, who will experience the Experience up close and personal?
Keith Lee VS Kassius Ohno!
The Knockout Artist immediately dismissed both Keith Lee and Matt Riddle as the “shiny new toys” of NXT. But then the King of Bros KO’d KO at TakeOver: WarGames II. They had a rematch and Riddle won by Bromission, which infuriated Ohno. Ohno beat Riddle down to the point where he could not be medically cleared, so it will be the Limitless One going after Ohno on behalf of his friend. Will Lee make Ohno #BaskInHisGlory?
Fans sing for Lee even before the bell. The bell rings, and Lee circles with Ohno. Ohno keeps his distance and he backs to a corner. Lee backs off and they finally tie up. Ohno gets a headlock but Lee powers out. They collide and it’s Ohno who falls! Lee drags Ohno up in a gut wrench, but Ohno slips out. Ohno CHOPS, then kicks, then runs, but Lee leaps over him! Things speed up and Lee crossbodies Ohno down! Cover, TWO! Lee keeps on Ohno with a whip but Ohno holds ropes. Ohno bails out but Lee just builds speed! Ohno runs away so Lee gives up on flying for now. Lee wags his finger while fans sing again. Ohno returns just to refresh the count and take another breather. But Lee gives chase, and they go back in the ring.
Lee catches the sucker kick to rock Ohno with forearms and body shots! He grabs Ohno by the hair and whips, to hit a BIG back drop! Ohno writhes to a corner as fans chant “Keith Lee! Woop woop!” Lee runs in but Ohno trips him into buckles! Ohno runs back in to boot Lee! Lee grimaces but Ohno stomps and chops him. Ohno drags Lee out for a headlock punch, then another boot. Ohno boots Lee again and again, and Lee rolls to ropes. Lee puts his dukes up so Ohno boots him down, and drops the back senton! Cover, TWO! Ohno grows frustrated while fans rally up. Ohno stomps Lee and puts him in a double underhook stretch. Lee feeds off the rally and fights his way up, but Ohno puts him on the ropes for a stiff forearm!
Ohno whips Lee but Lee holds ropes. Ohno keeps trying but Lee keeps resisting, so Ohno rocks him with forearms, chops and kicks! The ref has OHno back off, so Ohno whips again. Lee reverses but Ohno reverses back to an arm wringer and rabbit punch forearm! Cover, TWO! Lee still lives but Ohno is on him with a chinlock. Fans rally again as Ohno puts the underhooks back on. Lee endures and powers up to his feet. Ohno kicks low then knees Lee in the head! Ohno drops another senton, but onto Lee’s knees! Lee and Ohno are down but fans rally up again. Ohno stands first but Lee follows. Lee counter punches Ohno then throws forearms of his own. Ohno staggers to a corner, Lee runs in for a big splash! Lee tosses Ohno across the ring!
Lee runs back in, but Ohno puts him on the apron. Ohno goes after Lee but Lee buckle bumps him, then slingshot crossbodies! Cover, TWO! Ohno wants a timeout but Lee will not give him one. Ohno wants to bro fist, but Lee just throws fists and knees! Lee clubs Ohno off his feet, then drags him back up. Ohno headbutts the gut, but Lee just gets mad now. Lee double chops Ohno! Lee runs, ducks the elbow and redirects to POUNCE!! Fans fire up as Lee lifts Ohno in the fireman’s carry. Ohno holds ropes and escapes, but Lee waistlocks instead. The ref counts and Ohno shoves Lee into the ref! Lee rocks Ohno, then checks on the ref. Ohno sneaks up to LOW BLOW! Ohno hits the roaring elbow! Fans boo as Ohno covers, but Ohno wins!
Winner: Kassius Ohno, by pinfall
Lee may be Limitless, but no man can withstand what Ohno did to him! Ohno feels proud of himself, but Riddle comes raging down the ramp! Riddle runs Ohno off, but he checks on his friend instead of throwing hands with Ohno. When and where will the King of Bros settle things with the Knockout Artist?
A really good episode of NXT here as we draw closer to Phoenix. We get quite a bit of action in this episode, and start right away with a pretty fun tag team segment. Profits win fast and Full Sail was into it, but this is to also set up their rivalry with the Forgotten Sons. Sadly, the Forgotten Sons just on their name alone is becoming a butt of jokes type trio. Fans don’t care about them, but maybe after an actual match with Ford & Dawkins, that “Stay Forgotten!” heat will shift to normal Heel heat. War Raiders had a pretty great viking promo to hype their match with Undisputed Era, I’m thinking the Undisputed Era will have a response on the go-home. I’m really curious to see how this match turns out, because it still feels like it’s 50-50.
Dijakovic VS Jauode was a solid match, but boy is it hard to type their names quickly. Dijakovic wins and perhaps he will get a North American Championship shot after Gargano VS Ricochet happens. Gargano VS Humberto was also solid, and perhaps this match was why they thought to give Humberto the shot against Buddy Murphy. After all, NXT episodes are taped in advanced, and Humberto really is a great in-ring talent. Aleister and Ciampa have a good pair of promos, and in combination with Ricochet confronting Gargano next week, I really hope something happens to bring about Aleister & Ricochet VS Heel DIY for the go-home! That match will be amazing and is TakeOver worthy just on paper.
I’m very curious about Dream only doing promos, and not in person. Is Dream dealing with injury that we haven’t heard too much about? Or are they just saving him while title matches are spoken for? Dream competing against anyone for either title will be a great lead into Wrestlemania season. Dream coming full circle to get a title against Aleister Black would be absolutely incredible! Then there’s the incredible main event of Lee VS Ohno. They did great with Ohno’s hard hits and Lee’s still surprising agility. Ohno cheating to win is perfect for his continued Heel turn, and now Riddle VS Ohno III is coming. I hope they put that on TakeOver and let them just go off! Riddle can win and Ohno will either settle things with Lee or strangely, finally head to main roster.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE NXT UK Results & Report! (1/16/19)
The first NXT UK TakeOver is in the books, now witness the fallout of all the action! Plus, a rematch between The European Connection and Welsh Air Force!
- El Ligero VS Saxon Huxley; El Ligero wins.
- Isla Dawn VS Jinny; Jinny wins.
- Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster VS Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel; Aichner & Barthel win.
PLAY BY PLAY
We have our inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions in the Grizzled Young Veterans! We have a NEW NXT UK Women’s Champion in Toni Storm! And STILL your WWE United Kingdom Champion, The Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne! But there’s someone new on the scene, and his name is WALTER! The Ring General has come to the fastest rising brand in professional wrestling, and he looks to go right at Dunne’s title! When and where will Walter and Dunne throw down?
El Ligero VS Saxon Huxley!
The Light shines on Blackpool, but the Divine Beast emerges from the darkest shadows. Huxley may have a tag team with Tyson T-Bone, but he still wants to prove he can be a singles threat. Will he or Ligero make waves towards the title in this first ever post-TakeOver phase?
The bell rings and Blackpool loves the Luchador of Leeds. Ligero and Huxley tie up and Huxley pushes him back. They go around the ring and Huxley throws body shots. Ligero dodges the boot then the clothesline to dropkick! And another! Huxley stays standing so Ligero mule kicks and shotgun dropkicks! Ligero runs at the corner but is put on the apron. He slides under and then gets around to back elbow Huxley. Ligero runs but into Huxley’s arms for a big scoop slam! Cover, ONE! Fans rally up for Ligero as Huxley laughs and throws forearms. Huxley boots Ligero and puts him against the ropes. He lets up but then runs back in, but into Ligero’s boot! Ligero throws body shots as fans rally.
Huxley shoves him then rocks Ligero with an uppercut. Huxley crouches to leap into a tackle! He throws knees into Ligero until Ligero falls. Fans boo as Huxley covers, TWO! Huxley keeps his cool as he grabs Ligero for a straitjacket stretch. He thrashes Ligero around as fans rally up. Huxley digs a knee in, but Ligero endures. Ligero fights his way up even as Huxley leans on him. Ligero pries his way out but Huxley rocks him with another uppercut! Huxley whips Ligero but Ligero holds the ropes. He tries again but Ligero uses legs to hold the ropes now, so Huxley rams in a knee. Huxley tries a third time but Ligero reverses and breaks free to then get around for kicks and forearms! Ligero kicks, Huxley blocks but Ligero gets the enziguri!
Ligero whips but Huxley reverses. Huxley follows but Ligero goes up and over to dropkick Huxley away! Ligero lcimbs and hits a missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again, and Ligero feeds off the energy. Ligero brings Huxley up but Huxley breaks free to toss him. Ligero comes back to wheelbarrow but Huxley throws him right into a corner! Huxley drags Ligero up and out to then Canadian rack. Ligero slips out, Huxely puts him on the apron, but Ligero kicks back. Ligero steps in for a stunner! Fans fire up as Ligero runs, springboard tornado DDT, aka the C4L! Cover, Ligero wins!
Winner: El Ligero, by pinfall
Victory for Ligero in the Empress Ballroom! Will this help Ligero make leaps and bounds towards Pete Dunne’s championship?
Isla Dawn VS Jinny!
The White Witch failed to capture the championship from Rhea Ripley in their match weeks ago, and the Fashionista made sure to rub it in with a sneak attack backstage. But now that the Lightning from Down Under has the title, will the Spoiled Princess be aiming to revive an old rivalry? Or will she be stopped by Isla’s magic before ever getting a chance?
The bell rings and Jinny throws a knee into Isla’s stomach. She then throws Isla’s face onto her knee, and grounds ‘n’ pounds as fans boo and jeer. Fans taunt the Spoiled Princess with song as she throws forearms at Isla. Jinny whips but Isla reverses and scoops for a gut wrench suplex! Jinny gets up and Isla runs back in for a meteora! Cover, TWO! Isla stays on Jinny with a grounded hammerlock. Jinny endures and reaches back but Isla wrenches more. They stand and fans rally as Jinny spins to reverse. Isla easily reverses it back, but Jinny tries again. Isla stays in control, and wrenches a bit more. Jinny sits down and trips Isla up to go for a cover, but Isla slips right out and back to her armlock! Isla drags Jinny from ropes as she tortures the fingers.
Isla wrenches again but Jinny spins and throws a heavy forearm! Jinny eggs Isla, and the brawl is on! Isla gets an edge and sends Jinny rolling all the way out of the ring. Jinny catches her breath as Isla eggs her on now. Jinny tells her to back off, and takes her time coming back. Isla goes after Jinny but she gets a hotshot! Jinny throws a right but Isla blocks to counter kick! Isla runs in at Jinny but gets boots. Jinny runs out, flying headscissors! Jinny stomps away on Isla at the ropes and fans boo. She backs off but comes back with heavy rights. Jinny pushes Isla into the buckles with both hands, then pulls her back out to a standing abdominal stretch. Isla endures as Jinny grinds an elbow into the hips and ribs. Jinny pulls hair, too, but lets off that at 4.
Fans rally as Isla pries her way out and hip tosses Jinny down! Isla runs, basement dropkick hits! Cover, TWO! Isla keeps on Jinny as she goes to a corner. Isla backs off from the ropebreak, but runs back in. Jinny catches her into a big buckle shot! Cover, TWO! Jinny was close but she keeps on Isla. Jinny puts on a cobra clutch and tells Isla, “You’re nothing, little girl!” Fans rally up again as Isla gets up. Isla fights but Jinny wrings her out. Isla dodges to knee trigger and saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Jinny survives but Isla doesn’t let up. Isla gets Jinny with double underhook, Gory Especial! But Jinnys wings up to a victory roll! Isla sits on it, TWO!!
Jinny gets a leg and trips Isla up into a surfboard! Isla endures, and pries a hand free. Isla crawls but Jinny rolls and uses hair! Jinny pulls Isla back in a modified camel clutch, but Isla powers up to her feet. Isla puts Jinny into buckles and breaks free. She turns Jinny around for an Electric Chair but Jinny slips out. Jinny runs but into an elbow. Isla hops up but Jinny kicks the legs out! “Not this time, sweetheart!” Draping facebuster! Cover, Jinny wins!
Winner: Jinny, by pinfall
The Fashionista is fierce as ever, and she looks ready to challenge the champ! Will Jinny truly make this her Women’s Division?
Travis Banks speaks.
“NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, it was supposed to be Travis Banks VS Jordan Devlin, but that didn’t happen.” The Irish Ace attacked the Kiwi Buzzsaw not once, but twice! Devlin took an opportunity away from Banks, but this won’t happen again. They’ll face off on NXT UK next week, will the Buzzsaw finally shred the Irish Ironman?
Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster VS Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel!
The High-Fiving, Stage-Diving Rockstar and his good pal The Modfather have been soaring, but the Italian Tank and German Commander have looked to ground them for good. Will the Welshmen Air Force overcome the European Connection in this tag team rematch? Or will they be shot out of the sky so soon after the NXT UK Tag Team titles arrived?
The teams sort out and we begin with Andrews and Aichner. Fans duel and even chant “NEIN! NEIN!” for Barthel. Aichner ties up and tosses Andrews! He taunts Andrews but Andrews keeps his cool. They circle again and Andrews gets a headlock. Aichner powers out and runs Andrews over. He again eggs Andrews on, but gets a kick for it! Andrews speeds things up to tilt-o-whirl headscissor and dropkick Aichner down! Cover, ONE, but Andrews grabs an arm. Tag to Webster, but Aichner CHOPS him back! And again! Aichner brings Webster over and tags in Barthel. The EuroConnection mug Webster, and Barthel scoops. Webster slips out and boots Barthel away. Webster dodges Aichner to give him a triangle dropkick!
Barthel runs in but misses, Webster slides under. Barthel gets the legs but Webster pops up and headscissors him down! Webster fires up with the fans as he runs to tilt-o-whirl. Barthel makes it a toss of his own, then tags in Aichner. Barthel feeds Webster to Aichner’s tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Aichner gloats as he stalks Webster to a corner. He throws hands and stomps away until the ref counts 4. Aichner drags Webster over and tags Barthel. The Europeans mug and stomp Webster again as fans chant “NEIN! NEIN!” Barthel backs off to give a proper “NEIN!!” before stomping Webster more. He drags Webster up to snapmare and cover. TWO, but Barthel wraps on a chinlock. Barthel thrashes Webster around, and even wrangles him back down to the mat.
Fans rally up and Webster fights back up. Webster elbows free, but Barthel yanks him back in by his pants. Barthel fishermans and tosses Webster but Webster lands on his feet! Tag to Andrews! Barthel quickly tags Aichner in, but Aichner runs into a rallying Andrews! Andrews forearms and chops away, but Aichner shoves him. Andrews comes back, wheelbarrow into Stomp 182! Aichner gets to a corner, Andrews runs in, and Aichner puts Andrews on the apron. Barthel runs at Andrews but gets kicked off the apron! Andrews shoulders into Aichner then slingshots up and over to wheelbarrow bulldog! Webster intercepts Barthel with a knee trigger! Webster helps Andrews with a standing 450! Cover, TWO!
Andrews drags Aichner up but Aichner knees low. Aichner clubs Andrews down then tags Barthel. Aichner feeds Andrews to Aichner’s kick, then drops Andrews with a back suplex. He feeds Andrews to Barthel’s scoop slam and then hits Webster for good measure! Barthel covers, TWO! Andrews survives and fans fire up. Barthel drags Andrews up and tags Aichner. Andrews jawbreakers and then mule kicks. He runs but only into the spinebuster and Penalty Kick! Cover, but Webster breaks it in time! Barthel goes after Webster and puts him on the apron. Webster dumps Barthel out! Aichner goes after Andrews with a suplex, but gets a huricanrana! Andrews tags Webster, and they both FLY!! Double somersault sentons take out the Europeans!
Fans fire up as the Welshmen put Aichner in. Andrews tags back in, and he climbs while Webster picks Aichner up. Webster tilt-o-whirls but Aichner turns it into a long dart into Andrews! Aichner hits Webster with a lariat while Barthel kicks Andrews. Barthel tosses Andrews at Aichner, who makes it a brainbuster!! Cover, TWO!! Fans give this a standing ovation! Barthel grimaces as he drags Andrews up. Tag to Aichner but Andrews chops away on both of them! Andrews runs, slides under, and double PELE! He keeps going to moonsault at Aichner, tornado DDT! Tag to Webster, and Webster climbs, for the Shadows Over Malice swanton! Cover, but Barthel breaks it! All four men are down and Blackpool is still fired up!
They chant “UK! Woop Woop!’ as Barthel suplexes Andrews. Stun-Dog Millionaire! Andrews runs but Aichner trips him up. Aichner drags Andrews out to ram him into barriers, then ram his knee in! Aichner may have hurt himself with that, but he gets in to go after Webster. Webster headbutts! Webster springboards but Barthel saves Aichner from the Rude Boy Block! Barthel tags in and Aichner holds Webster in the corner, Barthel hits a big basement dropkick! Aichner tags back in, and Barthel climbs while Aichner picks Webster back up. The Europeans work together, for a spinning EuroUpper bomb!! Cover, The European Connection wins!
Winners: Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel, Aichner pinning
Blackpool may not like Barthel and Aichner, but they respect this amazing match! With a win like this, will the European Connection be first in line for a NXT UK Tag Team title match?
For a post-TakeOver episode, NXT UK does it right! Aside from the opening highlight reel, there was no recap of TakeOver: Blackpool to fill for time, and that made this episode all the better for it. Travis Banks does give a quick selfie video promo, and does pretty well, and obviously we will still get Banks VS Devlin like we were meant to. This must mean Banks’ real life injuries weren’t so bad, and now we can have a great blow-off for them. Ligero VS Huxley was a nice surprise, and it gives Ligero a great win to move forward with. Ligero VS Conners will surely happen again, and could go either way. Again, midcard title for the UK when?
Isla VS Jinny had a good match that was a bit sloppy to start but got much better as they went. As I sensed, this will likely serve as a contender’s match, Jinny VS Storm as Storm’s first title challenger will be great. Of course, Rhea will want a rematch, so maybe Rhea VS Jinny just to see that interaction and great match. The NXT UK Women’s Division is still a bit small, but with Kay Lee Ray and Jazzy Gabbert joining, things are going to ramp up. Isla against either of them to help in their debut will be great.
The tag team main event was incredible, I am surprised this wasn’t part of the tournament as a qualifier to face Grizzled Young Veterans or something. Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner, being the newest tag team to do crossovers between NXT UK and NXT USA, they are going to get the tag titles from one of those Divisions, but I would love if these guys somehow end up the ones getting both of them. Not necessarily simultaneously, but putting them in the same conversation as Mustache Mountain for having done that is totally feasible. And even though Aichner & Barthel are Heels just like Zack Gibson & James Drake, a match of these two should happen just because it’ll be a great match.
My Score: 8.1/10